Detailed History of ISAS Rockets

A Pioneering Effort ---- Pencil
The Baby Age
Under the Limelight ----The Kappa Era
Establishment of KSC and Former ISAS
The Fishermen's Problem
The Challenge of Japan's First Satellite
The Age of Space Science ---- Mu Rockets
Reorganization of ISAS and New Launch Vehicles

Thirty five years have passed since a rocket group of the Institute of Industrial Science of University of Tokyo, the predecessor to ISAS, carried out flight experiments of a series of tiny test rockets called Pencil. The Pencil was 1.8cm in diameter, 23cm long and weighed 200g. Passing through the development of Baby, Kappa (K), Lambda (L) and Mu (M), solid propellant rockets in Japan have now reached the latest version, the M-V vehicle, which can carry payloads 140 times bigger (in diameter and length) and 700,000 times heavier than the original Pencil. With consolidation into JAXA, the development of the M-V was stopped and JAXA is now developing a smaller satellite launcher, the Epsilon (E) rocket. However, its development is not under the control of ISAS activities.